Why is there a shade band on the windshield?
Regardless of whether you drive a truck, SUV, or a passenger car, besides having four tires, an engine, and a transmission, they also have one other detail in common – they all have windshields. Windshield technology has evolved since the first Model-A rolled off Henry Ford's assembly line. Today's windshields are manufactured out of tempered safety glass, but they also have a small tinted strip on the windshield. This small strip of tinted material is known commonly as the shade band. They are about four to six inches in depth and stretch across the entire windshield.
The shade band has been a factory standard in use for domestic and import vehicles for several years. They are commonly found in blue, green, or a smoke tint color and are designed to help protect from the sun's glare in between the roof line of your windshield and the visor that can be moved down by the driver. This small spot tends to be very distracting to drivers, which is why most automotive manufacturer's created this strip and install them on virtually every vehicle sold today. One interesting exception to this is the Jeep Wrangler, which has a straight up and down windshield that typically does not include the shade band.
The shade band is only about four to six inches high. It's made this way so that it does not obscure the vision of the driver during normal driving situations. If the band was designed to be smaller, it may not fully block the sun; if it was larger, it would cause driving visibility issues. Most of the time when the windshield is broken and customers need to find a replacement glass windshield, the glass company will match the shade band based on the vehicle's interior color.
Some interior colors like tan, grey, and light brown have a green tinted sun shade, while light blue and darker blue interiors have the blue tint. Black and white interiors typically have the smoke style tint as their shade band. Shade bands are also regulated by individual state rules on window tinting. If your windshield has been cracked and you need to replace the windshield, make sure to check with your state's laws to ensure you don't have a shade tint that is too large.
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